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FutureStarrDoc Rivers Provides Update On Tobias Harris' Injury Scare
On Monday night's Game 3 loss to the Toronto Raptors, Tobias Harris experienced an injury scare which kept him out of the locker room for some time. Now, coach Doc Rivers has provided an update on how things are progressing for Philadelphia 76ers star forward.
Over the past month or so, Tobias Harris has played like a different player. He's become more decisive with the ball in his hands, shooting more 3-pointers and making quick decisions. It has been an encouraging sign for Harris.
On Monday, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers provided an update on Tobias Harris' injury status and stated that the forward is feeling much better.
On Saturday night, the Philadelphia 76ers were riding a four-game winning streak heading into their game against Oklahoma City Thunder. Tobias Harris had been their go-to guy throughout that span and they led by 89-85 with 4:40 left in the fourth quarter when Harris went down and was helped off the court by teammates including Joel Embiid.
Embiid was the star player and cornerstone of the offense for the Sixers, but with Harris gone it left a big void to fill. Without Georges Niang (health and safety protocols), Tyrese Maxey (left quad contusion), or Jimmy Butler (unvaccinated), they relied on their best players to fill in for them.
In that game, Embiid suffered a right knee sprain - not his first injury this season but definitely one of the more significant.
Harris, who had been an integral part of the Blake Griffin trade, has been the driving force behind Philadelphia's four-game winning streak and a huge boost to their offense. He's scored double figures in all but two games this season and also set career highs in points per game and field goal percentage.
It's evident that Harris is an integral part of the 76ers' success, and they are eager to re-sign him to a long-term contract. NBA sources told The News they are confident in landing Harris on a five-year, $190 million extension.
According to The News, other teams interested in Harris include the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings. The Nets would love to add Harris, who would fit perfectly into their power forward rotation and has established himself as a well-regarded teammate throughout his career.
The Kings have also expressed interest in the 28-year-old, but are unlikely to give him a max deal due to his injury history. With their young core too young for him to start as a starter, he would need to join the rotation in order to make an impact on their roster.
Despite an uneventful start to the NBA season, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers remains optimistic about his team. Through seven games, Rivers is 6-1 and believes his players are in excellent position for a deep run in the playoffs.
But for the Sixers to reach their objectives, much needs to change - and Rivers is not going to ignore any of it. Though they have won four straight away from home, some aspects of their play still don't quite measure up to Rivers' standards.
He's currently grappling with an injury crisis that has seen several key players miss the court. Tobias Harris has been out due to left hip soreness, while Furkan Korkmaz is out due to a knee effusion.
Joel Embiid is out with a right facial fracture and concussion sustained during their Eastern Conference semifinal against Miami Heat. While he's been ruled out for Wednesday night's Game 2 against Miami Heat, it could still happen before Games 3 and 4 back in Philadelphia.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Embiid could possibly return to the lineup against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
One of the biggest uncertainties surrounding Embiid's return has been how much playing time he will receive. Although their depth roster is impressive, that doesn't guarantee everyone on it meaningful minutes.
With that being said, Maxey appears to be on track for a full recovery from his broken foot, giving Rivers more options when selecting who plays on his bench. Thybulle also provides another quality shooter who has already gained valuable experience during scrimmages with the team.
If Embiid can return to playing significant minutes this year, it will have a major impact on the Sixers' chances of making an impressive run in the playoffs. And if not, that would spell disaster for everyone involved with this team.
As the Philadelphia 76ers continue to battle an injury-plagued roster, Doc Rivers is keeping his fingers crossed for the return of several key players. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have already been sidelined due to injuries; James Harden is expected to miss the first week of December due to a foot issue; it will be a tough stretch until Philadelphia can get their superstars back on the court.
Meanwhile, the Sixers are counting on some exciting bench play to stay in contention. De'Anthony Melton has been averaging double-digit points and steals per game, while Paul Reed has displayed his versatility with some spectacular dunks and passes.
Though the 76ers are still dealing with injuries, they have managed to pick up some victories that will give them encouragement in light of their current predicament. De'Anthony Melton put together an incredible third quarter that included five three-pointers, five assists and four steals - a season high!
After a quiet start, the Sixers went on an explosive 13-4 run late in the second quarter to build an advantage that would never be challenged by the Raptors. Tyrese Maxey hit two three-pointers, P.J. Tucker hit a hook shot, and Fred VanVleet added two treys for an 11 point cushion with less than four minutes left before halftime.
At the end of the first quarter, Tobias Harris' defense on Pascal Siakam proved crucial in this victory. Siakam had two chances to score early on but Harris made him look foolish by holding him to one-for-three shooting from the field. With such a crucial X-factor for your team in such tight games like this, having Harris on your side can make all the difference.
Harris was an integral part of the Sixers' defense on Fred VanVleet, which has been key to their success this season. VanVleet has been playing well, but he's been getting into foul trouble. Despite these difficulties, Harris remains one of their top shooters. If he can get his game back on track, Harris can be an invaluable asset for the Sixers.
Doc Rivers reports that Tobias Harris is feeling much better, according to the 76ers coach. Although he still needs some work before he can return to his best, Rivers remains optimistic that Harris will be ready to play soon.
The 76ers coach also notes that Harris has been playing with great energy this season, which makes him a likely factor when the team needs to win games in crunch time. That's especially important since they are currently tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with a 35-16 record, meaning any more losses cannot be tolerated.
Joel Embiid will be out for at least two weeks with a left knee bone bruise, so Harris has been an important force on the Sixers in his absence. This month he's averaging 20.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4 assists per game - an impressive stat line!
If Harris returns healthy next season, the 76ers will have an even more potent scoring option in the postseason. They have the versatility to utilize Harris, Simmons and Embiid in different lineups, which could pave the way for a successful playoff run.
Harris not only has an impressive post presence, but he can also shoot the ball well from beyond the 3-point line. That's especially valuable because Philadelphia 76ers' offense struggles from deep, so having someone who can consistently hit from deep would be a huge advantage for them.
However, the 76ers are unlikely to part with him unless they find a trade partner willing to part with some of their value for the remainder of his five-year, $180 million contract. Should that occur, however, that contract could make resigning him difficult in the future.
However, the Sixers are a strong team and Harris could potentially be an attractive trade chip if the right opportunity arises. However, trading Harris might not be the best fit for a team that requires plenty of versatility - this could prove detrimental to them in the long run.